Author: Jonathan Crossfield

Jonathan Crossfield describes himself as a storyteller because writer, editor, content strategist, digital marketer, journalist, copywriter, consultant, trainer, speaker and blogger wouldn’t fit neatly on a business card. Jonathan has won awards for his magazine articles and blog posts on digital marketing, but that was so long ago now it seems boastful to keep mentioning it in bios. He lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with a very patient wife and one very impatient cat. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @Kimota.

By jcrossfield published December 18, 2018

Chief Content Officer: A Year of Insights

Has it been a whole year already? Well, not really. As I write this it’s still November and as you’re reading this, it’s the third week in December. A lot can happen in that time. But, assuming this ball of rock we live on successfully completes its routine circuit of the sun once more without major incident, it seems as good a time as any to reflect on how much has changed over the previous 12 months.

One of the biggest changes for Chief Content Officer magazine happened at the beginning of 2018. After seven years and 36 issues, Clare McDermott handed the editor’s red pen over to me in an emotional ritual involving arcane incantations, a branding iron, and a pledge to forever cast out the Oxford comma. (Stares hard at the blog editor. Get out of that!) (Blog editor’s response: Sorry, we use that comma here. We can’t afford any penalties resulting from missing commas.)

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By jcrossfield published November 13, 2018

Data Privacy Law: Ignorance Is No Excuse

From the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal to the arrival of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 2018 has pushed data privacy into the headlines. Ruth Carter – internet, intellectual property, and business attorney – talks to CMI’s Chief Content Officer magazine about how marketers should adapt to a world far less forgiving and far more skeptical of the ways we capture and use data.

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By jcrossfield published October 2, 2018

Brands Often Overlook This Superhero of Storytelling

Comics aren’t just SMASH, WHAM, KAPOW! One of the oldest mediums is also one of the most powerful — and one of the most overlooked in content marketing. Yet some brands are working with top comics creators and publishers such as Marvel Comics.

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By jcrossfield published September 18, 2018

Want Engaging Social Media Content? Lessons From a Viral Smash


Graphic designer Chris Barker has twice won cover of the year at the British Society of Magazine Editors and recently won art director of the year. Yet he is probably best-known for an image he created for his own amusement at 2 a.m. one Nov. 9 while watching the rolling U.S. election coverage.

For Chris, the election result was more evidence that, in his words, things were going “a bit 2016.”

“I started thinking about the year as a whole and how unusual it had been,” he tells me. “At the time, it seemed like a big monumental shift. (Rank outsiders) Leicester City were running away with the English Premier League (football championship). Brexit had happened. I thought I needed to get my thoughts down on paper. It was a cathartic thing, really. It was for me. It wasn’t with any kind of shareability in mind.”

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By jcrossfield published May 23, 2018

6 Time-Saving Apps and Tools Marketers Obsess Over

time-saving-appsFinding a great app or tool sometimes can feel like winning the lottery – maybe not the Mega Millions, but at least a $20 scratch-off ticket. Here are some winning picks from some of our favorite sources.

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By jcrossfield published May 15, 2018

What’s Accuracy Got to Do With Social Media?

accuracy-social-mediaYou may be familiar with the oft-quoted line attributed to Mark Twain, “A lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is getting its boots on.” It’s cropped up quite a bit over the last couple of years in discussions about fake news and alternative facts. Twain’s words seem a particularly apt description of social media’s role in spreading misinformation faster than ever, while amplifying the confusion of who or what to trust.

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By jcrossfield published February 13, 2018

What B2B Brands Need to Know to Succeed on LinkedIn

linkedin-b2b-brands-succeed“But I’m from a B2B company. How does all of this apply to us?” I must get a version of this question in almost every content marketing workshop I run. My answer is always the same: “B2B customers are people too.”

On entering the office, we don’t stuff our B2C brains into the desk drawer, replacing them with pin-striped B2B versions allocated to us by HR. If that deathly dull and overly formal white paper would put me to sleep as a B2C reader, it’s not suddenly going to find me more attentive because the clock is somewhere between 9 and 5.
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By jcrossfield published December 8, 2017

The Murky World of Influencer Marketing: How Non-Disclosure Can Hurt Your Brand


Ever since marketers cottoned on to the potential for social media to drive influential word-of-mouth brand recommendations, they’ve tried to either foster or fake these discussions.

“I heartily endorse this event or product,” says a monotone Krusty the Clown in a snippet of video used to advertise everything from cough syrup to atomic particle accelerators. Krusty’s cut-and-paste approach to celebrity endorsement might be a long-running gag on The Simpsons, but the rise of influencer marketing in social media may mean the joke is getting just a little too close to reality.

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By jcrossfield published August 23, 2017

Is Your Social Content Picture-Perfect or Merely Taking Stock?


Attention span in social media can be measured in split seconds, not minutes. While your update hopes to entice me to click or interact with your content, there are hundreds of other posts right below yours also crying for my attention. And should your choice of eye-catching image cause me to pause for a moment, my finger is constantly resting on the screen, waiting to flick-scroll your content up the feed and off my screen with the tiniest of well-practiced muscle reflexes.

Here’s the bad news: This fleeting first impression may be the only opportunity many people have to discover your content. And if you waste that opportunity, it won’t matter how well researched, brain meltingly creative, and all-round wonderful your social content might be because we’ll never know.

Sure, you can’t judge a book by its cover but, in a crowded bookstore, covers help us find those books that we might enjoy while skipping over the thousands of others we haven’t the time to “judge” by reading. Similarly, when our social media feeds are choked with content links begging for attention, you better hope your choice of image causes people to stop and take notice.

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By jcrossfield published June 9, 2017

Is Your Brand Really Who It Says It Is?

brand-really-who-says-it-isAccording to the famous 1993 New Yorker cartoon, “On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Are any of us – brands and individuals alike – really who we say we are? Welcome to the quagmire that is authenticity in social media. Watch your step. It’s a minefield!

“Authenticity” has become one of those marketing buzzwords I love to hate, particularly when discussing social media marketing. Sure, authenticity inspires trust, and brands need to be trusted if their marketing is to be effective. But I do take a perverse pleasure in watching marketers tie themselves in knots trying to explain how authenticity is to be achieved.

I’ve read a number of articles arguing that authenticity must be at the heart of any marketing strategy… while also insisting authenticity isn’t about being strategic. Or that authenticity is not necessarily about being honest or transparent… but is absolutely about being genuine. Continue Reading